Conversation form last Sunday’s lesson

In Apologetics, Prayer, Satan, Sin on February 19, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Dan-Thanks Ben the last paragraph from p 253 no human acts are good or bad in some twisted logic is how Hitler and his gang of thugs justified their final solution…Evil prevails when good men do nothing
Stacy-Toughest yet most intriguing and life changing class I ever took was called Theodicy – dealing with the problem of evil in context of the existence of a good omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. Try defining good and evil. It’s harder than you might think.
Ben-It is some twisted logic. I would be interested in dissecting what went wrong with Hitler’s thinking someday. In my own quick assessment of his logic, Lamont seems to separate actions into a consecutive time frame, such that the action precedes the consequence. And since the two are distinguishable, he separates one identity (the action) and defines it as a variable that is dependent on the following identities (the consequences), which are dependent variables of the action, for you can not have the consequences without the action. So where is the independent variable in this case? It should have been the action but Lamont is saying it is not the action. For example, I perform the action of eating an apple. One consequence is that my body gains energy, which is good. But another consequence is that I die because little did I know the apple was poisoned. Therefore on Lamont’s terms, the action must be bad because the sum of consequences was bad, so I will be going to hell for eating an apple. The problem is that the sin of the world destroyed the person, i.e., the sin was the bad action of the world poisoning the apple. And I let the world destroy me. I wasn’t smart enough to overcome in Lamont’s terms. Jesus on the other hand frequently took actions totally outside the sphere of time into the domain of the heart. For example, is there a time frame for love? Love will eternally be love, regardless of time. God is love. God loves me. And He called me into this relationship of love. Hence, I have a self-love in my heart that is independent of consequences. So, I eat the apple because I have self-love in an effort to be “good” to my body. Although my body still dies because it is poisoned, I will not be going to hell for eating an apple. For, “Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 6:24 (Holman). Although the consequences of my actions resulted in my body dying, I was not morally wrong because of the love in my heart for myself and ultimately for Jesus Christ.
Stacy – I was just looking at my book on theodicy this morning. What a coincidence! This area is something that concerned me from a very young age. I remember when I was about 12 or 13 saying to a friend: “How could a loving God do something like this?” I was talking angrily about how terrible it was that my mother couldn’t walk because of her multiple sclerosis. And thus began my search that I told you about last year.
Dan-Ben one of the considerations about evil was mentioned a couple of weeks ago in class. Evil could be the absence of God, somewhat like darkness is the absence of light. Evil began when man rebelled in the garden and God had to withdraw his eternal Holy presence from man or we would have been destroyed by his sheer majesty and perfection. In his infinite Grace he not only provided salvation but withdrew himself to preserve us. I think a good illustration of this is from the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. –

We choose rebellion through our first father Adam and confirmed that choice when we exhibited our first inclination towards sin. I would almost turn the concept around “ How could a loving God allow us in his creation knowing our propensity towards evil and rebellion towards him”
I like your idea to discuss Hitler and the terrible twisted logic you could include Stalin, Mao, and several others as well. I think we have such a hard time with evil because just about the time you thought you had seen the worst of man we out do ourselves in the area of despicable behavior and sink to a new low…


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